Kuelap Ruins, Northern Peru

I first read about Kuelap several years ago in a Lonely Planet article about places to visit before they are overrun. This seems to be quite true. When I was there I talked to a local tour guide and he said that there were 12,000 visitors the year before, of which 4,000 were foreigners…if you divide that number by 365 days, that gives you a figure of nearly 11 visitors per day, which was almost exactly what I observed. In 2010 he said that there had been half that number! The key seems to be access. There is no functioning airport in Chachapoyas, and it took us two days on mud-slicked dirt roads through a cloud forest to reach the town from Vilcambamba, Ecuador, and several days later, when we left on the night bus to Huanchaco, on the northern coast of Peru, it took 12 hours on one of the worst, bumpiest, twistiest, windiest most carsickness-inducing roads in the country. Not something the average, Machu Picchu-bound tourist would want to endure. But once the roads are paved and/or a regular air service instigated, “Goodnight, Irene” – it will become just another stop on the Incan tourist trail.



4 Comments on “Kuelap Ruins, Northern Peru

  1. I find Peru fascinating. Great post!
    Please check: I had to see it in Safari on my iPhone as the photos didn’t upload in WP reader.

    • Hi Eduardo, thanks. Kuelap was well worth the visit.

      Your photo site is excellent, too – great photos. You use a ‘real’ camera’, I was only using a micro 4/3 LUMIX. Now I use the Oly OM -D …smaller and a bit easier to carry where I travel.

      I just checked the WordPress app on my iPad mini and all the photos loaded just fine. No idea what the problem with WP Reader was.

      Happy Trails,


      • Then it’s probably a slow connection. Good.
        I’m helping a friend in choosing an Olympus System and I’ve fallen in love with the OM-D. Enjoy it!

      • Hope it’s just the connection.

        Mine is the older OM D EM5 – a new one just came out. I bought the body used on Amazon.jp and have the lenses from my previous camera. A big step up…plus, in the mid-70s I used to use the old OM-1 SLR; 35mm, so this is partly retro-nostalgia.

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